Non-Profit Receives Over $25K To Help Provide Meals; Partnership Kicks Off With First Event At Chemistry Hyde Park On January 24
CHICAGO, IL – In a move that furthers its commitment to providing hospitality solutions tailored to a diverse array of partners, Marc Brooks, President and CEO of Hyde Park Hospitality (HPH), today announced a partnership with Aleta Clark, aka Englewood Barbie, and her non-profit — Hugs No Slugs. The goal of the partnership is to help feed those living under the viaducts in Chicago with a $27,745 donation that will provide meals for 30 “Friends” per night for 210 nights from October to April.
Clark established Hugs No Slugs in 2016 to help feed the Friends — those who are home insecure. “I don’t identify with the people I serve as homeless people out of respect. I call them by their name or ‘The Friends,” says Clark. “It gives them a sense of belonging and makes them feel loved.” The Friends are fed a meal every night in what’s become known as Club 51, a homage to the earlier days when Englewood Barbie would feed those living outside along the viaducts at 51st Street.
“Club 51 is a no judgment zone — we lead with love, respect, daily sacrifice and dedication. We’re not traditional or like anything you’ve ever experienced, but we are a structured environment committed to helping those in need,” says Clark. “I’m teaching my way of loving the world’s most frowned-upon community/people organically, comfortably and respectfully. My work teaches people how to love while learning how to adapt to different environments and personalities without taking things personally.”
“Food insecurity and lack of affordable housing is a major problem in this country, and while many of us pass by those living outside and under viaducts, Aleta chooses to step in every night and support them with food and kindness,” says Brooks. “When I heard about the work she’s doing in the community, I had to be a part of it. As a second-generation entrepreneur in the food industry, I believe it’s important to give back and support those most in need. I also admire Aleta’s philosophy of not identifying the individuals as homeless, but as ‘Friends.’ Her approach will help to de-stigmatize this population and hopefully bring more humanity to their situations.”
The partnership will kick off with its first event on Tuesday, Jan. 24 at 5 p.m. at fine dining restaurant Chemistry Hyde Park (5121 S. Harper Ave., Chicago, IL 60615) where Brooks, Clark and others from both organizations will serve a special meal for the Friends. HPH will donate funds from the grant on a quarterly basis, which will assist Clark in continuing to provide meals to the Friends daily in Club 51.
About Hyde Park Hospitality Partners
Hyde Park Hospitality Partners (HPH) is a hospitality company with an emphasis on Airport Concessions, Lounge Operations, Restaurant Brand Partnerships, Managerial Staffing & Contracted Food & Facilities Management. They operate in 16 cities and have more than 600 employees. In 2022 the company was recognized by Crain’s Chicago Business as one of the fifty fastest growing companies in Chicago.